Member Since 2008
Charlie Daniels is partly Western and partly Southern. His signature “bull rider” hat and belt buckle; his lifestyle on his Twin Pines Ranch (a boyhood dream come true); his love of horses, cowboy lore, the heroes of championship rodeo, Western movies, and Louis L’Amour novels identify him as a Westerner. The son of a lumberjack and a Southerner by birth, his music – rock, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel – is quintessentially Southern.
Like so many great American success stories, the Charlie Daniels saga begins in rural obscurity. Born in 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, he was raised on a musical diet that included Pentecostal gospel, local bluegrass bands, and the rhythm & blues and country music emanating respectively from Nashville’s 50,000-watt megabroadcasters WLAC and WSM.
In 1969, Daniels moved to middle Tennessee to find work as a session guitarist in Nashville. Among his more notable sessions were the Bob Dylan albums of 1969-70 Nashville Skyline, New Morning, and Self Portrait.
Daniels broke through as a record maker himself with 1973’s Honey In the Rock and its hit song “Uneasy Rider.” His rebel anthems “Long Haired Country Boy” and “The South’s Gonna Do It” propelled his 1975 collection Fire On the Mountain to multi-platinum status.
Following stints with Capitol and Kama Sutra, Epic Records signed him to its rock roster in New York in 1976. The contract, reportedly worth $3 million, was the largest ever given to a Nashville act up to that time. In the summer of 1979 Daniels rewarded the company’s faith by delivering “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which became a platinum single, topped both country and pop charts, won a Grammy Award, became an international phenomenon, earned three Country Music Association trophies, became a cornerstone of the Urban Cowboy movie soundtrack and propelled Daniels’ Million Mile Reflections album to triple platinum sales levels. His latest album was released in 2011 called Land That I Love.
Daniels’ annual Volunteer Jam concerts, world-famous musical extravaganzas that served as a prototype for many of today’s annual day-long music marathons, always feature a variety of current stars and heritage artists and are considered by many music historians as his most impressive contribution to Southern music. A winner of countless awards, Daniels counts the Opry membership he earned in January 2008 among the most meaningful of his 50-year career in music.
Land That I Love